Farm’s Hand gets one over Liffeys in high class FAI derby

by Dave Donnelly
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Home Farm came out on top of a Dublin city derby with Liffey Wanderers to reach the last 16 of the FAI Intermediate Cup in Whitehall on Sunday afternoon.

Second-half goals from Bradlee Hand and Mattie McEntee saw Home Farm to a 2-1 win after Sam Simpson had given the 2017 Intermediate Cup champions an early lead.

The two sides battled it out in LSL Sunday Senior 1 last season as Liffeys sealed their fifth successive promotion to reach the top level of intermediate football.

Home Farm fell short on that occasion, but their young side proved too good for Liffeys on this occasion despite trailing as early as the sixth minute.

The home side had the game’s first real chance as a raking ball forward found wing-back McEntee on the right, but his shot was straight down the throat of Liffeys keeper Philip O’Connor.

The tie was swung wide open when Home Farm goalkeeper Mark Osborne’s pass was cut out by Simpson, and the former Bluebell man stroked the ball low into the empty net.

Liffeys continued to press, and last year’s Intermediate Player of the Year Aidan Roche’s backheel set up Simpson to drill a shot at Osborne.

Fintan Kearns had Home Farm’s best chance of the half when he found space inside the box, but his shot was parried out of the top corner by O’Connor.

O’Connor, who was lucky to get away without a booking for a dive before the break, turned villain two minutes after half time.

The keeper came out to claim a through-ball but led with his foot and caught Home Farm striker Dylan Malone, and a penalty was awarded with the keeper cautioned.

O’Connor saved a penalty in the 4-2 win over Bluebell United the week before but had no chance as Hand sent him the wrong way from 12 yards.

Free-kick specialist Lee Roche curled a dead ball effort inches wide of the target as Lifffeys looked to take the tie within 90 minutes, but it was Home Farm who hit the front 15 minutes from time.

A quick break saw Hand’s shot well-saved by O’Connor but, despite claims he was offside, McEntee was on hand to force the loose ball home.

“We never thought they were on top of us in the game,” Home Farm manager John Hand told the Dublin Gazette.

“They were playing long balls up to Aido Roche. When they had Aido Roche out on the wing, we were happy. If you have a centre-forward of his dynamic out on the wing, you’re happy.

“The [players] are all putting the work in.

“A lot of them are in college and have come through the Home Farm ranks.

“We might not see loads of dividends with them this year, but we’re not too far away from seeing something big with them.”

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